Discovering Your Verb

30 minutes · 2018

Listen to the full episode here::

No matter how delighted or disappointed you are in your life right now, you have a verb deep inside of you that wants a way out. What does that mean? Your verb is your one-word language that expresses to the rest of the world who you are, and why you’re here. Discovering what you verb is can cause a meaningful change not only in your own life, but also the lives of those who you interact with.

I’ve been an advertising man for over 25 years, and the biggest lesson I’ve learned in that time is that the one thing that makes a good ad great is the same thing that makes a good leader great: movement. Without movement, nothing happens, and permanent change isn’t possible. Movement, of course, is all about verbs!

There are three ways that each of us can live. The first option is to live as a noun, and bore people. The second is to live as an adjective, casting doubt and skepticism in people. Finally, we can live as a verb. We’re human beings, but it’s our human doingsthat create our legacy and our future.

No doubt you’ve heard René Descartes ’s famous saying, “I think, therefore I am.” When you read into this, you see that René lived as a verb: “think.” Filling in that saying shows you someone’s verb. For example, Socrates was concerned with questions; he might have said, “I ask, therefore I am.” His verb is “ask.” Einstein said that if you stop learning, you start dying. In other words, “I learn, therefore I am,” and his verb is “learn.” Maria Montessori ’s verb was “teach.” Thomas Edison ’s was “invent.”

Are you starting to understand what it means to live as a verb? If so, you see how incredibly powerful it is. If you can identify your verb, you can identify the direction you’re going. If you can change your verb, you can change your life. Tune into the episode to learn how to identify your verb, and why it’s so different than identifying your noun or adjective.

In This Episode:

[02:52] - Alex introduces the powerful insights that he’ll explore in today’s episode of the podcast.

[04:32] - We hear about what your verb is, and why discovering your verb can be so powerful.

[05:42] - Alex digs into what makes a good ad (or leader) great.

[06:44] - We hear about one of Alex’s root mentors in advertising, Leo Burnett .

[08:09] - Alex became obsessed with verbs when he stumbled upon I Seem to Be a Verbby Buckminster Fuller , he explains.

[09:32] - The reason that Alex is recording this episode is that he believes that the greatest thought leaders in history lived their lives as verbs. He lists some famous, influential people and explores what their verbs are.

[15:13] - You’re kind of like Michael Phelps, Alex points out, because we are all born geniuses.

[16:26] - Alex points out that even the universe itself has a verb: expand.

[17:55] - We hear Alex’s answer to the question of what his verb is.

[18:54] - What is your verb? Why is it your verb? And how do you live into it every single day?

[19:40] - Alex gives listeners a free gift: a list of 112 verbs that may help you discover your own verb. He’s also giving away a slide deck and talk notes on the subject of discovering your verb. Head to this link to get all of this!

[21:35] - Alex invites listeners to write down their own verb in the “I [verb], therefore I am” format.

[24:12] - The Alexism for this episode is, “Don’t just look for business heroes. Bec


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